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Gotham City Sirens #8

When I read that one of the series that was going to be spun out of Battle for the Cowl was going to be Gotham City Sirens I was not impressed.  I mean, the Catwoman series had just been cancelled and here we where getting another Catwoman series just with Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy thrown in.  That combination just did not fill me with confidence.  Man was I wrong, I can’t remember what it was that caused me to read the first issue but it was excellent.  I was hooked and I have to say every issue since then has been excellent, with the exception of issue number seven.  Issue number seven was still an OK issue but it suffered from the fact that it was split into three separate stories.  Each story featured just one of the series' three main characters.  This meant that not only was each story very short but it robbed the issue of one of the strengths of this series, the interaction between the three main characters.  The overall premise of the series is simple Catwoman, Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy have decided to put their criminal past behind them and go straight.  Now, given how sordid their collective past have been they have decided to live together and give each other mutual support, in this dramatic undertaking.  Needless to say, putting their pasts behind them is easier said than done.  I mean, after all, between the three of them, at one time or another they have stolen from, beaten up, threatened to or actually killed a great many of the citizens of Gotham City.  In the series so far, our trio has had to deal with skeptical city officials, frightened citizens and former associates, some of whom want to pull them back into their former life styles and some of whom have scores to settle.

This issue was typical of the series as a whole.  SPOILER WARNING  A series of murders in Robinson Park points to Poison Ivy as the killer.  This puts a strain on the relationship of our three heroines and puts Poison Ivy in the sights of the police.  Only Commissioner Gordon, after a through examination of the evidence, has any doubts.  In fact, he releases Ivy to peruee the killer herself and clear her name.  Her investigation is cut short by a rogue cop looing for revenge, so with Ivy out of action, it falls to Catwoman and Harley to discover the identity of the murder.  Turning to the Riddler, another reformed Bat villain, for help they succeed in uncovering the truth.  Truth in hand and with at least the acquiescence of Catwoman and Harley Ivy tracks down the murder and takes her own revenge.  The fact that Ivy takes revenge rather then handing the murder over to the authorities is a great touch.  END SPOILER WARNING  It shows just how far the trio, particularly Ivy, have to go on their path to truly reform their livers. 

This issue like the series overall has a lot going for it, riveting personal dynamics between the three main characters, a multitude of challenges coming at the trio from every corner imaginable and interesting interactions with a host of other characters.  All this and more wrapped in a story of a deeply personal journey of change.  What more could you want from a comic book?  Do yourself a favor and check out this or any issue of Gotham City Sirens, you wouldn’t be sorry.

Keith Forney